Swiss chard is such an easy veggie to grow and it gives you back time after time. Plant a few seeds, water and care for a few plants lovingly and you will find you always have bountiful supply.
Some interesting chard facts.
- Swiss chard was discovered by a Swiss botanist – hence it’s name.
- It is a member of the goosefoot family, called this due to the leaves looking like a goose foot.
- Chard is packed with nutrition including vitamins A,C, K plus magnesium, potassium, iron and fibre.
So the question is what to do with it? The great news is it goes in virtually everything. I’ve added baby leaves to smoothies, savoury muffins and scones. Then use it like you would spinach in dhal, stir fry and omelette. Or wash it and freeze, I’m totally up for an easy life and don’t cook it before freezing. I find it works fine to add to casseroles and other meals where you add as it cooks.
One of the easy summer recipes I sometimes pull out the back of my mind when the chard patch and my mind are overflowing, and I need to cook but also need a break – this chard and pasta dish. It works so well. The rosemary gives it a warm lift and the bacon adds the saltiness, plus it means my children eat it. Now my boy isn’t a fan of his greens, but will eat this meal all up. It goes to show sometimes it is what a food is paired with that matters.
I let my children decide their own portions of this meal and eat according to appetite. My eldest girl after a busy day at school had seconds, my boy cleared his plate and was satisfied. My toddler ate off my plate too!
Bacon, Chard and Rosemary Pasta
- 150 g bacon chopped into bite sized chunks
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 200 g chard leave it whole
- 150 g mushrooms chopped
- 300 g pasta
Chop up the bacon, remove the fat and heat a non stick pan. Then cook the bacon for a few minutes.
Add the rosemary and garlic, stir round to release the the flavours.
Next add the chopped tomatoes and allow to come to a simmer.
Cook the pasta.
Wash the chard, chop any huge leaves. Place into the pan and allow it to wilt down.
Chop the mushrooms and add these to the pan, allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and put the lid on.
When the pasta is ready mix the sauce in and serve.